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Malus 'Sunset' | Apple Tree

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A modern offspring of Cox, Sunset dessert apples inherit the superb flavour of Cox apples but are much easier to grow. Regular, heavy crops of small sized fruits with green-yellow skin and a characteristic orange-red flush are ready for harvesting in October and can provide a good supply of fresh fruits until December. The fruits are crispy, juicy, fairly aromatic, and slightly more acidic than Cox apples. Their flesh becomes slightly softer and milder as they age. The fruits taste best when eaten raw with to salads and cheese, and can be pressed into refreshing juices of a surprising tang. 'Sunset' has been awarded the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which helps gardeners make informed choices about plants.

  • Supplied As: Bare Root
  • Height on Arriva: 1.5m (5ft)
  • Age: 2 Years with 4 Year Rootstock
  • Rootstock: M26
  • Eventual Height & Spread: 3m x 3.5m (10 x 11.5ft)
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by their nursery, which means their roots are of a different plant to that of their trunk, branches, and fruit. Rootstocks (amongst other environmental factors) will determine the eventual size of your tree.

Dwarfing rootstocks produce smaller trees than the one grown on its own roots. Some rootstocks have a greater dwarfing effect than others, with M27 producing the smallest tree. While having a smaller tree may sound like a negative, it is actually highly beneficial! Dwarfing trees will crop earlier in their lives; placing more energy into their fruiting instead of vegetative growth. Nonetheless, some dwarfing rootstocks, such as M26 and M27, need permanent staking to make sure that they aren't uprooted by strong winds.

Your fruit tree will only produce fruit if their flowers have been pollinated. This is usually done by pollinating insects, which will transfer pollen from one flower to another. Honeybees, the main pollinating insect, will travel several miles in search of blossom. So if there exists another apple or crabapple within that radius it will most likely bear fruit.

Some apple trees are self-fertile, while others need a pollination partner from the same or neighbouring pollination group. Although self-fertile varieties form fruit without the help of a pollination partner, a pollination partner will still greaten their yields. Triploid trees cannot pollinate other trees, but they can be pollinated by another, and crabapples can pollinate apple trees.

  • Pollination Group: 3 
  • Self-Fertile: Yes
  • Harvesting Period: Late
  • Estimated Time to Cropping: 2 Years
  • Estimated Time to Best Yields: 5 Years
  • Uses: Eating Fresh, Juicing
Packaging

We have developed an eco friendly polypot that is currently in use across our 9 litre range. This polypot has less than 20% of the plastic used by a regular pot, and is importantly recyclable. Polypots also prevent root spiraling, encouraging a healthier root system.

All trees arrive in an extra thick cardboard box with a clamp to hold their pot in place. This prevents them from moving around on their journey.

Nursery staff will wrap the roots of our bare root trees and use compost to keep them moist during transportation. This extra protection prevents them from drying out, allowing for a flying start. We also use the same specialised box that our potted trees have to keep them nice and secure as they make their way to your home.
How your order will arrive

Once planted, you should water your apple trees at least bimonthly for two months. It is also important to have adequate spacing between each tree, with 1.5m, 3m and 3.5 - 4m spacing between M27, M26 and MM106 trees (respectively).

Bare root and containerised trees have differing planting requirements, detailed below:

  • Watering: Bare root trees should have their roots soaked in water for up to 2 hours before planting, while with containerised trees, it is important to drench their root ball before planting.
  • Pruning: Another difference is that for bare root trees, it is useful to prune their woody roots back a few inches. However, for containerised trees, you should free any spiralized roots growing around their rootball's circumference.
  • Planting: With bare root trees, you should dig a hole to enable the graft point to be above the soil, while with containerised trees, the pot should sit no lower than an inch below the ground.

Bare root and containerised trees also share planting requirements, detailed below:

  • With both, you should dig a hole that is twice the radius of their rootball. Stake your trees no more than 2 - 3 inches from the stem, and make sure that they are pointing away from the prevailing wind.
  • Fill the planting hole with a mix of compost and garden soil, finishing with fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungi. Take care to not compress the soil.
  • Once you are happy with your efforts, give your tree a generous watering.
  • Add mulch on top (this can be bark and wood chippings, compost, manure, leaf-mould, and stones), and ensure that these do not touch the stem of the tree.
  • Tie the stake to your tree (and leave space for growth), and place a rabbit guard around your tree to protect it from harmful pests.
  • Apply fertiliser and replace decomposed mulch come spring. When autumn arrives, remove fallen leaves to prevent the risk of disease. You should also make sure that the ties are not rubbing your tree.

Easy to grow, an apple tree will make a perfect first fruit tree. Your tree’s growth and output will likely be excellent providing you follow our planting and care instructions. Below we address some common query topics:

  • Hardiness: Apple trees can be found growing in far colder regions than the UK, and therefore its mild winters will not affect your tree. One issue that can affect fruit trees is frost-damaged blossom, but this is rarely the case with apples that flower late.
  • Position: In the UK, the greatest barrier to successful fruiting is a lack of sunlight, so be sure to plant your apple tree in full sun. Choosing a sheltered location will help prevent uprooting and allow your tree to leverage more resources into fruiting.
  • Soil: Soil types can be an unwelcome confusion as many plants will adapt to their conditions. Nonetheless, less than ideal conditions will certainly limit your tree’s growth. Waterlogged soils will starve your tree of oxygen, which plays a key role in photosynthesis; causing its roots to rot and creating an optimal environment for disease.
More Information
Is Collection/Mix? No
Needs Ericaceous Compost? No

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